Swift reaction to Kemp's backing 'Constitutional Carry' legislation

Reaction to Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposal for Georgia to become the next "Constitutional Carry" state was swift, especially from the left.

The governor made the announcement he supports a measure that would do away with the need for weapons carry permits in Georgia. Currently, Georgians must have a Weapons Carry License, or WCL, in order to carry a concealed weapon in public.

Gun safety advocates were quick to call this a political move by an incumbent governor facing a potentially heated primary. Former U.S. Senator David Perdue and former state Rep. Vernon Jones are both running against Kemp in the Republican primary.

"It's not a good policy and it's not a safe policy for the citizens of Georgia," said Dorothy Leone-Glasser, Advocates for Responsible Care.


Kemp now argues that the current law undermines the rights protected under the Second Amendment, but gun safety advocates believe the relaxing of the law will lead to more deaths.

"We're concerned about the regulations getting too lax. There are so many policies and legislation that we haven't addressed yet in Georgia...background checks, domestic violence, and suicides," Leone-Glasser said.

She also said a loosening of the law will also prevent police from being able to investigate certain illegal activities effectively.

"Sit down with law enforcement....takes away their ability to know who's carrying a gun, where they have it, and whether they're legally permitted to do this," she said.

Georgia 6th District Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., whose son was a victim of gun violence, shared a similar sentiment online writing:

"Governor Kemp’s outrageous proposal endangers Georgia families. Full stop. Irresponsible gun laws like this ripped my family apart, and I am tired of our leader turning a blind eye to safety."

McBath is the mother of Jordan Davis, who was 17 years old when he was gunned down at a Jacksonville gas station over a loud music dispute in 2012 making national headlines.

"…Governor Kemp’s proposal endangers the lives of Georgia’s children," her statement concluded.

"The same guy who pointed a gun at a teenager on TV now panders with reckless proposals threatening Georgia lives. As her opponents run to dangerous extremes and fight desperately to salvage their political careers," wrote Stacey Abrams’ campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo.

Abrams announced late last year she would once again seek the Democratic nomination to run for Georgia Governor. She and her staff joined in denouncing the move.

Multiple other prominent members of the Democratic Party in Georgia including the party itself denounced the proposal.

"Permitless carry would put law enforcement officers like my husband in even more danger, but apparently, Governor Kemp and David Perdue would rather risk Georgian lives on political games than support law enforcement," said Courtney Spriggs, a former law enforcement officer and a volunteer leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. "While these politicians are embracing radical policies like permitless carry in a pathetic and dangerous effort to curry favor among gun extremists, we’ll be fighting for laws that would actually prevent gun violence in our communities and make Georgia safer – starting with repealing ‘Stand Your Ground.’"

But many on the right are calling those who opposed to the legislation "anti-gun zealots who wish to leave Americans defenseless."

"We shouldn’t have to claw back a civil right, a God-given right to defend ourselves," said Lt. Col. Willes K. Lee, NRA. "The right to keeping their arms is in fact the most fundamental of rights."

FOX 5 reached out to several metro Atlanta law enforcement agencies to get their reaction but had not received any comment.